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By Venesha Johnson | Associate Writer
Our Jamaican women are true inspirations. Many of our most prominent women in society had to work extremely hard and overcome many trials to get to where they are today. While character is definitely more important, being able to tag the title of being one of the richest women in Jamaica to your name is a big deal. So who are they? Let’s take a look.
Trisha Bailey who is 45 years old, was born and raised right here in Jamaica. When she was 13 years old, she and her family relocated to Hartford, Connecticut, in pursuit of new prospects, as many Jamaican families have done. She went on to receive a degree in human development and family relations from UConn in 1999. She then established a recruiting business while working as a stockbroker in Hartford. She graduated from the University of Phoenix with an MBA and a Ph.D. in management and organizational leadership before obtaining a pulmonary certificate from the University of Kentucky and a certificate in cardiology care from New York University. Trisha primarily made her considerable wealth in the medical equipment sector before diversifying her business interests into local and international commercial real estate. Impressive right?
Her estimated net worth is between $650 million and $700 million, and she has received recognition from one of the most prominent events honouring Black women's accomplishments. On March 10, 2023, at the Alfond Inn in Winter Park, Florida, the ninth iteration of the distinguished Women on the Move! event hosted by Onyx Magazine presented Bailey with the Woman of the Year Award for 2023. The Onyx celebration recognizes trailblazing women who have made significant contributions to their fields and communities through work in charitable, governmental, media, and corporate organizations.
Paula Kerr-Jarrett Wegman is known for having a passion for developing Jamaica and its surrounding areas. She has become a social entrepreneur, connecting individuals, charities, and business organizations to advance the prospects of Jamaicans. She has been involved in numerous projects, including religious, charitable, and educational organizations, and was even a candidate in our national elections. This led to the establishment of "Hanover Hope," a non-profit foundation focusing on raising awareness and funds for scholarships for young people across the island. She has studied philanthropy and attended seminars on education and self-development for sustainable success.
Paula has been a Director of the Barnett group of companies for over 30 years, overseeing company investments and business development strategies. She has also served as a Director on several government boards, focusing on trade, economic development, and education. She has been appointed Ambassador of Investment and Philanthropy by the Jamaican government. Her net worth is approximately US$1 billion.
Another of our most wealthy and influential ladies is Dorothy McClarty. It is estimated that her net worth is around $10 million. She is an attorney by trade and has significantly aided in the development of our country. She received the Gleaner Award for public service in 2016, the Order of Jamaica in 2007, the nation's fifth-highest honour, and an honorary doctorate in business administration from the University of the Commonwealth Caribbean in 2016 in recognition of her leadership of the ECOJ.
Doctor Blossom O'Meally-Nelson, a multi-talented individual, is an educator, management consultant, environmentalist, coach, mentor, mediator, and author. She graduated from the University of the West Indies with a Doctor of Philosophy in Education and has been a founding member of various organizations. She has accumulated a variety of sources for her income and was designated Jamaica's first female postmaster general in 2000. Her participation in the logistics firm Aermar Group has also allowed her to amass a substantial sum of money. She has even held the positions of provost and chair of the University of Technology (UTECH) Council. Her net worth is now estimated at 1 billion dollars.
Rita is well-known for several things such as being the widow of the legendary Bob Marley and being one of his backing vocalist. She continued his musical legacy after he passed away in 1981 while also pursuing a solo career. She created both the Bob Marley Foundation and the Bob Marley Group of Companies. By 2022, her net worth was anticipated to be around $50 million. Although Bob Marley passed away without leaving a will, Rita did receive a sizable piece of his inheritance, which along with her hard work has paid off.
This list is not exhaustive but these are indeed some of the richest women here in Jamaica. They are not only financially successful but have also made significant contributions to their communities and industries. Whether through entrepreneurship, education, healthcare, or real estate, these women have broken barriers, shattered stereotypes, and built substantial fortunes. Their stories serve as a source of inspiration for the next generation of Jamaican women, proving that with determination and dedication, anything is possible.
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